Saturday, November 5, 2011

In the Quiet, Misty Morning

In the quiet, misty morning,
When the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows hush their singing,
And the sky is clear and red,

When the summer's ceased its gleaming,
When the corn is past its prime,
When adventure's lost its meaning,
I'll be homeward bound in time.

A mother of three busy children has little time for solitude or reflection. You can imagine how delighted I was when my fond expectations were realized, and ~part~ of my school bus trips each day contained large helpings of both peace and quiet. 

The early morning rides were glorious! Leaving shortly after sunrise, driving dramatically through the misty morning, while the sky was clear and red.... simply gorgeous. Simply silent.

I leave town headed east, the sun shining on my face, a rainbow of clouds streaking the sky ahead and above. A set of hills - the nearest thing we have to a mountain - rises in my path. I climb it effortlessly, glancing enviously at the abandoned air force base at the crest. At one time, nearly 100 children came from the base to Westby School. Now, it lies abandoned and still, old buildings wearing the ravages of time. Except for the giant concrete tower, the edifice I most envy. How I would love my own concrete tower!

From the air force base, the road drops down the other side, curving past the turnoff to Skjermo Lake (pronounced SCYARE-mo), and winding narrowly between two lakes, brightly reflecting the colors of the sky. These lakes are fairly new, left over from the spring floods that never quite went away. Waterfowl throng the liquid paradise, large numbers swimming right up next to the road, then curving off in a flying fantasia just ahead of my approach.

Sheer magic.

After several mornings, Devon asked if he could ride along with me. I said yes, if he got up early. I expected that to be the end of it, but to my surprise he bounced out of bed, ready on time. My personal suspicion is he slept in his clothes to improve his efficiency, but the results were impressive.

As we pointed our enchanted yellow chariot into the rising sun, Devon began firing off comments and questions faster than an auctioneer in a hurry. The plethora of lexicon bubbled up, finally spilling out the windows and trailing behind the bus as we drove.

The next morning, he brought his baritone.

Oom-pah, Oom-pah-pah, Oom-pah, and ever time we went over a bump, OOOOGAH!!!

Oom-pah, OOOOOOGAH, Oom-pah, Oom-pah-pah, Oom-OOOOOOOGAH!!!!!!!! We went over a lot of bumps. 

I made him put the baritone away shortly before the first stop, and then the auction began again. One phrase stood out in the dizzying blur of sound. "Wow, Mom - it's so interesting to come with you in the morning. Now I know just what you go through!"

I smiled to myself. No, Devon, you don't quite know what I go through.


If you find it's me you're missing,
And you're hoping I'll return,
To your thoughts I'll soon be listening,
In the road I'll stop and turn,

Then the wind will set me racing,
As my journey nears its end,
And my path I'll be retracing,
Till I'm homeward bound again.

~ Marta Keen

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